Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Finding a Paris hotel at the right price and in the desired location can take some planning.
Finding a Paris hotel at the right price and in the desired location can take some planning.

Savvy traveller can avoid shock of Paris hotel prices

Finding affordable and salubrious accommodation in the world's top tourism city is not easy, but being discriminating about location and timing can save the day

For the tourist on a strict budget, Paris hotels can be affordable, if decidedly modest.

But not everyone wants to settle for a garret in the insalubrious surroundings of Europe's busiest railway terminus, the Gare du Nord.

The business visitor to Paris may well have other needs, from convenience of location to space and efficient facilities, and it is at this end of the accommodation market that the City of Light becomes a gloomier proposition.

A survey for Paris's tourism office shows that for higher-class accommodation, Paris is very nearly in a league of its own. The average room price in this study was 379 (Dh1,840) for Paris, ahead of London and New York and behind only Geneva, at approximately Dh2,000.

Nor do "average" prices tell the full story, as one recent business traveller from the UAE discovered. He stayed in a decent but not extravagantly luxurious hotel in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, and paid more than Dh2,700 a night without breakfast.

The visitor was amazed. But the rate raised no eyebrows among those with everyday knowledge of Parisian hotel prices.

"It is not a surprise," says Alain Coffre, the editor of Business Traveller France, who points out that pricing and availability are greatly affected by trade fairs and exhibitions taking place at certain times.

So is there serious under-provision, at least in central areas? "Absolutely," Mr Coffre says, "and this was confirmed to me by someone from the tourism board of Paris.

"There is a shortage of business hotels in the centre of Paris because it is difficult to build new hotels there."

The Knight Frank property agency puts the average Paris hotel price at Dh845, but this reflects the wide disparity between the two ends of the market. Occupancy rates are more than 75 per cent in the four to five-star bracket.

In league tables from the World Tourism Organisation, France is the world's most popular destination (74.2 million arrivals last year), with the US and Spain lagging far behind on 54.9 million and 52.2 million, respectively), while Paris (14.8 million) leads London (14.1 million) and Singapore (9.7 million) as the most popular city.

Some people adore the Paris spring, others love the autumn or prefer the height of summer, when the Parisians themselves stage their annual holiday exodus, and there are fairs, exhibitions and events all year.

"There is not really a low season," says Giuseppina Tricoli, the Paris account manager for the online hotel reservations company EasyToBook.com, which deals in every price bracket.

This year, Ms Tricoli noted that virtually all city centre hotels for September had been fully booked by July. One reason, she says, is that the city is the natural business centre for all French-language congresses. Add the architectural, cultural and culinary attractions, and the pressure on space - and therefore on prices - can more readily be understood.

Business Traveller's Mr Coffre offers respite for those willing to stay outside the smart central arrondissements, with "numerous new projects in the suburbs generally a good place to stay if you want lower prices".

While endorsing Ms Tricoli's observations on September as a particularly busy month, to which he adds April-June and October-November, Mr Coffre believes the market is kinder in July and August and from December to February, when business travel to Paris dips.

He suggests that greater value for money can often be found by venturing out to northern and eastern arrondissements, though he does not recommend poorer parts of the city (the 18th, 19th and 20th arrondissements).

Beyond that, his advice would probably apply anywhere: book ahead if visiting in high seasons, or be alert for exceptional bargains.

The man from Abu Dhabi who paid Dh2,700 a night in the Rue Faubourg du Saint-Honore may not be consoled to hear from Mr Coffre that only a few months ago, and just around the corner, the majestic Hotel de Crillon, dripping with history and fabulously placed on the Place de la Concorde, had rooms for only a third as much.

crandall@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Miele coffee maker making Cappuccino at Miele Gallery in Sama Tower in Dubai. The cost of this coffee maker is around Dh 17,000. Pawan Singh / The National

Space-age coffee comes at a price from Miele

Miele have taken the coffee machine to a new level with its Dh17,000 offering that is built into your kitchen.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 The rush of new supply of hotel rooms pushed Dubai occupancy rates down to 87 per cent. Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai hotel room rates rise 10 per cent

The rush of new supply pushed occupancy rates down to 87 per cent, a dip of 2.6 per cent from the previous year. Winter months are the strongest for Dubai hotels, with occupancy and prices falling to half their peaks by July.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National